California's $600 Stimulus Checks: When They'll Arrive and How to Track Yours

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a coronavirus stimulus package into law on February 23 that includes one-time direct payments of $600 to millions of qualifying residents across the state.

Some 5.7 million Californians are eligible for the payments, including people receiving California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), along with those who currently qualify under multiple existing federal assistance programs.

The $600 payments are part of the state's $7.6 billion COVID-19 relief package, which includes $2.1 billion in grants and fee waivers for small businesses.

While some residents have already begun receiving the $600 direct payments starting on April 15, others might have to wait up to six weeks or longer.

Who qualifies for the $600 stimulus payment?

California residents who fall within the following categories are qualified to receive the $600 payment:

  • Residents receiving CalEITC for 2020.
  • Households with individual tax identification numbers (ITINs) and an income below $75,000.
  • Households enrolled in the CalWORKs program.
  • Recipients of Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP)
  • Recipients of aid through the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

How to check eligibility for the $600 check

See if you qualify for CalEITC

CalEITC is available to state tax filers who earn less than $30,000 a year. In order to qualify for a stimulus payment this way, residents will need to file a 2020 tax return.

Residents can check whether they qualify for CalEITC at the California Department of Community Services & Development website.

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) started sending out the $600 payments to CalEITC recipients on Thursday, April 15. Those who qualify for the stimulus will receive their payment in the same way they receive their tax refund.

However, the timing of those payments depends on when you filed your tax return.

If you filed your tax return online between January 1, 2021, and March 1, 2021, you will receive your stimulus payment after April 15, 2021, according to the FTB. If you are receiving your tax return via a paper check, allow up to four to six weeks for mailing.

For individuals who filed their tax return on or after March 2, 2021, direct deposit stimulus payments will reach you within 45 days, while paper checks should be processed in 60 days, the FTB added.

See if you require an ITIN

The $600 stimulus payments are available to individuals who file their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who do not qualify, or do not have a Social Security number. Check the IRS website to see a list of criteria for those who need to have an ITIN and instructions for how to apply for one.

An ITIN filer who made $75,000 or less is eligible to receive a $600 stimulus payment, according to the FTB. ITIN filers with an income below $30,000 are also able to claim the CalEITC and receive an additional $600 payment, ABC 10 reported.

The timing for stimulus payments for ITIN filers is the same as CalEITC. If you filed your tax return online between January 1, 2021, and March 1, 2021, you will receive your stimulus payment after April 15, 2021, in the same way that you receive your tax return.

If you are receiving your tax return via a paper check, allow up to four to six weeks for mailing.

CalWORKS recipients

CalWORKs is a public assistance program providing cash aid and services to eligible families with children. Generally, those who qualify for the program include families with children that have been deprived of parental support, families with children where the primary caretaker is unemployed, and caretakers who require assistance with a foster child.

According to the California Department of Finance, all CalWORKS recipients have already received the $600 Golden State Stimulus payments automatically.

"All eligible CalWORKs families have received their Golden State Grant payment," H.D. Palmer with the California Department of Finance said in an email, according to ABC 10.

"The CalWORKs Golden State Grant payments were processed for all eligible CalWORKs families on March 27th and families received a voice notification on April 2nd informing the family of the payment and how to receive additional information."

See if you qualify for SSI/SSP/CAPI

The $600 stimulus payments are available to recipients of federal assistance programs including SSI/SSP and CAPI (Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants).

Those receiving regular program assistance will automatically receive the $600 payment in the same way they get their current payments.

California state lawmakers passed a bill on April 15, that will allow these payments to be sent out through a third-party vendor, ABC 10 reported. According to the California Department of Finance, the payments are now expected to be given out in six to eight weeks, or in late May or early June.

Further assistance

If you are a resident of California and need further assistance with the understanding whether or not you qualify for the $600 stimulus payment, the CFTB recommends you call 800-852-5711 or for those outside the U.S., 916-845-6500. You can also talk to a representative online.

Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom watches as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is prepared by Director of Inpatient Pharmacy David Cheng at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center on December 14, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images